By Kyle Hottin
Hope-Marie Cook is best known as the head of Eastern’s Curriculum Center and Education Librarian. In 2012, Cook wrote an award-winning grant proposal during her time as the coordinator for Eastern’s Big Read program, an event intended to promote the rise in literacy among the local adolescent demographic. Even five years after that, Cook is still doing her best, and in this feature, she reveals what her position means not only to herself, but to everyone else as well.
When you come into work, what is your motto for success?
Never stop learning, work hard and be proud of your background, as examination of such will give you lots of stories to tell. Bibliotheraphy over the years has helped me get through some major struggles in my life.
What do you believe is the overall atmosphere of the library?
Quiet, serene, laidback, friendly.
Is there a book that you always come back to read from time to time?
Jane Austen novels. I don’t know why, my only excuse is I like the language in these novels and of course it always feels like I’m reading it for the first time.
What about a book that you’ve never read, but have always been interested in reading?
That has not happened to me. If I want a book and we don’t have it, or I don’t want to buy it, I interlibrary loan it. Because I love books I will usually make time to read them or at least get started by reading a few chapters and sometimes abandon them. I also review books and this gives me an opportunity to read books that I probably would not read, or have an interest in reading.
Is there something that you really want to accomplish at some point during your career?
Yes, I would love to set up a literacy center with a bookmobile and programing that could help students struggling with family issues and also have the title of Dean. As I get older I reflect on some of the services that I was involved in as a child in poverty, volunteer, and educator. Most recently I looked up a place that I had attended as a child called Huntington Family Center in Syracuse, N.Y. I was happy to know they are still in existence. It is my thought that soon I will go back to Syracuse and advocate for their continued survival. I also recall that Syracuse, my hometown was known for really caring about literacy for children and families. A women by the name of Ruth Calvin who is secretly my hero, set up Literacy Volunteers in Syracuse, N.Y. That was over 50 years ago. I think she is still alive and is pushing 100 years. She fully understood how literacy could help families. I want to be that type of lady and help children and young adults develop a love for information and learning.